From Clemson Tiger Band Drum Major to a MAJOR asset of Greenville County’s Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department, Lawanda Curry is marching steadily towards creating a better community.
As the Community Centers District Manager for Greenville County Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Lawanda oversees all administrative, financial, maintenance, and programmatic areas for seven facilities: Brutontown, Freetown, Mt. Pleasant, Slater Hall, Staunton Bridge, Sterling, and Piney Mtn Community Centers. Each facility provides a variety of recreational opportunities including adult senior programs, after school and summer camps for youth, and various special events, classes, and open gym for the community.
During the past eight years, Lawanda has worked to grow the community centers’ programs and their reach. After school programs have increased from serving 196 students to over 300 students, annually. The senior programs provide services to almost 200 participants within the Division. During the summer months, the Community Centers Division now serves more than 600 students!
Lawanda has been instrumental in creating and securing partnerships for program participants, which has helped increase attendance at the community centers. One such partnership is with Prisma Health (formerly GHS), which currently offers a Wheels to Wellness Program (a bike skills curriculum for 3rd-5th grade participants) in the Centers’ after school programs. For the past five years, she has secured funding and transportation to take 12 middle school girls to Clemson’s Finding Your Voice Program, a weekend camp at its outdoor lab, where girls are taught empowerment skills through outdoors skills and activities such as kayaking, rock climbing and backpacking.
Lawanda has represented Greenville County on the state and national level as well. She served on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association for four years, serving as President in 2017. She worked with State Representatives to adopt Summer Camp and Out-of-School Time Programs Guidelines for all public park and recreation agencies within the state. She also traveled to Washington D.C. to visit with national legislatures to discuss state level recreation issues such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Community Development Block Grants.
Lawanda is a 1997 graduate of Clemson University, completing her Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation & Tourism with an emphasis in Community Leisure Services. While at Clemson, she was a member of Tiger Band and served as drum major for four years. Lawanda is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Park Association and continues to be a proud member of the South Carolina Recreation & Parks Association (SCRPA).
Lawanda is a native of Hartwell, Georgia. She loves her Faith, Family and Friends. When asked about her success, she stated, “It’s not me. It’s the amazing staff and supportive people that God has surrounded me with that make my career and the work that I do so enjoyable. Recreation is not just a career path, it is a way of life.”
Please join us in congratulating this 2019 Upstate Black History Maker!